Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 Oct 27. doi: 10.1002/ohn.567. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of tobacco cessation following laryngeal cancer diagnosis on response to first-line therapy, laryngectomy-free survival, and overall survival in patients who were current smokers at the time of diagnosis.
STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective, case-control study.
SETTING: OU Stephenson Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center.
METHODS: We included 140 patients diagnosed with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, who were current smokers at the time of diagnosis, and were treated with first-line definitive radiation or chemo/radiation with the intent to cure. The association between patient characteristics and treatment response was assessed using the χ2 test and logistic regression analysis. Survival outcomes were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier methods and Cox proportional-hazards models.
RESULTS: Of the 140 current smokers, 61 patients (45%) quit smoking prior to treatment initiation. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, quitters had 3.7 times higher odds of achieving a complete response to first-line therapy than active smokers (odds ratio: 3.694 [1.575-8.661]; P = .003). In the adjusted Cox proportional-hazards model, quitters were 54% less likely to require salvage laryngectomy within 7 years of diagnosis than active smokers (hazard ratio: 0.456 [0.246-0.848]; P = .013). Quitters had a statistically significant increase in 7-year overall survival compared to active smokers (P = .02).
CONCLUSION: This is the first study to show that in newly diagnosed laryngeal cancer patients who are current smokers at the time of diagnosis, tobacco cessation significantly increases therapy response, laryngectomy-free survival, and overall survival. These data stress the importance of systematically incorporating tobacco cessation programs into laryngeal cancer treatment plans.